Vanessa Shingle does not know what she wants to do with her life. She is also currently in between projects. No, not school projects. Boyfriends. Vanessa is a fixer. She is the type who has to improve and “help” her boyfriend. Though she doesn’t have much taste in her boyfriends to begin with, usually said boyfriend ends up in police custody despite all her efforts to improve him. Then she meets Jean-Paul McClellan, the janitor at her sister’s college. Yes, the janitor, but without the coveralls, he could give the Winchester Brothers a run for their money with his own classic car, questionable secrets, love of classic rock, and knowledge of the arcane.
When Jean-Paul saves Vanessa’s life, she finds it hard to explain away his super strength and speed. With the help of of her friend, Stork, she follows Jean-Paul home and discovers a shocking secret. Could her boyfriend really be a vampire? Suddenly Vanessa is running into vampires all over town. After a brief explanation from Jean-Paul, Vanessa knows just what it is she was born to do.
I was prepared to really dislike this third entry in the My Boyfriend is a Monster series. Yeah, it has that whole Buffy meets Supernatural vampire hunter thing going on which is really cool. However, the series so far really seems to be hit or miss. I am also not a big fan of vampires as a love interest (Spike is my one exception). Now that I have that out of the way, let me tell you just how awesome I found My Boyfriend Bites.
First there is the artwork. Alitha Martinez is a Marvel veteran, having worked on titles like Spider-Girl, X-Men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and more. The panels are very detailed and slightly humorous. In the first pages we see a highway sign that says “Drive slow, see our town. Drive fast, see our judge” and a bus proclaiming next stop “Nowhere”. Warning learned from the book’s graphics, if a very attractive guy confronts you, run cause he just could be a vampire. The author, Dan Jolley, has written for comic powerhouses like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and TokyoPop. If the story puts you in mind of Buffy in any way, it could be because Jolley was a writer for some of the Angel spinoff books. The story flows, actually has a plot, and is not afraid to poke fun at itself (see the scene in the elevator shaft). Just when you think you have it all figured out, Jolley throws you another curve ball. My only criticism is that it all ends here. Vanessa definitely needs her own series.
My Boyfriend is a Monster #3: My Boyfriend Bites
by Dan Jolley
Art by Alitha E Martinez
Graphic Universe, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: 12 and up